« הקודםהמשך »
considerable length, but in language highly figurative. If we will be at the pains to lay all these predictions together, and compare them with those of DANIEL, betore mentionel, we cannot fail, seeing to whom all the characters belong, and how awful the destýuction is which awaits this mother of abominations.
6. Birt what is all this to us? Have we not long ago
1210unced the errors and delusions of the Church of " Home, and declared ourselves professors of the genuine « doctrines of the REDEEMER of mankind ? May we e not expect, therefore, to be delivered from those
judgements, which have already fallen upon France "and other countries, and which shall assuredly fall on ecall the Antichristian states in Europe, that formerly “ maxle a part of the Roman empire?”
The ten + kingdons, before spoken of, we know, are all to fall, at the end of the said 1260 years, from the time they owned the dominion of the little horn. Now, England is universally allowed to be one of the ten. If we begin to reckon the 1960 years from the time GreGORY the GREAT, Pope of Rome, sent over AUSTIN and his companions to preach the gospel to our idolatrouis ancestors, there are a few years yet to expire, before our doom shall be sealed in the courts above. The French can have no power against us till their coinmission is signed by the GOVERNOR of the world. The times and the seasons lie hath reserved in his own hand. Nations do not rise and fall by chance.
* The seven seals in ihis hicroglyphical book refer to Rome in her Pagan siate ; the seven trumpets to the Roman empire in its Christian staie ; and the seven vials to the same Roman empire, broken into ten kingdoms, in its Popish and Antichristian state.
These ten kingdoms began to take their rise about the year of our Lord 450, and proceeded more and more towards permanency for many years.
The revolutions and convulsions of those ages were horribly cruel, bloody, and distressing.
I There is some reason, from the present appearances of things, to suppose, that the 1260 prophetical years must be calculated from a period somewhat earlier than the commencenient of the seventh century. The year of our LORD 538 accords with the downfall of the Pope's temporal dominion, A. D. 1798.
s. But, is there no possibility of preventing, or avoid
ing, the universal subversion awaiting both us and “all the other kingdoms of Europe, which constituted parts of the ancient empire ?”
There seems to be one way*, and but one, in the nature of things. And what may that be? I am sorry to say it is one which is by no means likely to takeplace. It is a thorough reformation both in theory and practice; inchurchand state; a general reformation in themoraland religious conduct of the inhabitants of this country. For these purposes, must not religion be reduced to gospel purity andsimplicityt? mustnot the Church betotally un
* I am led to think there is still a possibility of averting our unhappy doom, from the case of Nineveh in Jonah, and that of Jerusalem in JEREMIAH, particularly ch. xxvi. 1–8. It were happy for us, if the possibility amounted to a probability. Compare Jer. xviii. 1-10. Our safety by no means depends upon our more frequent repetition of phari. saical forms and superstitious ceremonies, but upon correcting what is amiss in our morals, and un.evangelical in our doctrines and ecclesiastical constitution. Was not the present Pope of Rome dethroned at the very moment he was surrounded by his cardinals, and celebrating his own exaltation to the Papal chair? Was there ever a more worthy aud religicus Pope than his present Holiness? Were the ancient Jews ever strictly and superstitiously religious, than when they crucified the LORD of Glory! or, than when their temple and nation were destroyed ?
+ Consult Dr. HARTLEY, in his Observations on Man, for a more particular account of the fall of the Establishments in Christendom. Our ecclesiastical governours would do well to weigh seriously what that learned Physician hath said upon this subject, while yet there is time. See Part 2. Prop. 8?.—But what can we expect from men who are surrounded with worldly honour's, entitled to a vast patronage of livings, and tempted with near 100,000 pounds a 'year, to let things continue as they are? He must be almost more than man, whose virtue rises above such seduce
TILLOTSON, BURnet, and others, will complain all is not right; will profess they wish things to be altered; but how seldom do we find a Bishop or dignified Clergyman, who believes the Scriptures so firmly, as to renounce all the riches and honours of this world, and to walk according to the unadulterated Gospel of the Saviour of man
When a man is made a D. D. does not the spirit of a D. D. usually come upon him? and when a B- -P, the spirit of a B-p? Though he had been ever so eager for the removal of abuses before, does ħe not usually endeavour to lull conscience to rest, and even become an advocare for the continuance of things in their present state? To be sure, he has much to lose, and little to gain, by any change that can take place; and "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush." When a
connected with, andseparate from, the Civil Constitution? This is the opinion of some respectablemen. Must notour Bishopsand Clergybe reduced to the scripturalstandard? JESUS Christ left sole king in his own church? and hưman ordinances in things sacred, give way to divine
prescriptions? Without these great moral aud religious changes, can we expect to be preserved from the general wreck of Europe? and whether these changes are likely to takeplaceamongus, let anycool and impartial observer judge. Shouldnotourlearned Bishopsand Clergysee these
man has subscribed an indefinite number of times to a set of propositions, some of which he doubis, and others of which he disbelieves, it is a thousand 10 one but he goes on to the end of the chapter, and sinks at last into eternal perdition, as a base prevaricator with God and conscience. If, in such a case, we can be in a state of safety for eternity, I am clearly of opinion, religion is all a farce, and it is of little consequence, with respect to the future world, whether we be Christians or Heathens, Jews or Mahometans....GOD requireth truth in the inward parts.
It should seem, that the civil part of the British constitution is also capable of considerable improvement, Every thing of both kinds, however, might easily be accomplished by the enlightened endeavours of our present legislature.
Do not the criminal laws of the country likewise stand in need of revisal ? Let any man judge of the truth of this, when it is considered that we have upwards of 160 offences punishable with death.
The jurisprudence also of the country seems to want reform in a variety of respects. The court of chancery in particular is enormously tedious and expensive. Do not other departments of the law too need much reform? In the county of Middlesex alone, in the year 1993, the number of bailable writs, and executions for debts from ten to twenty pounds, amounted to no less then 5,712, and the aggregate amount of the debts sued for, to 81,791 pounds.--- The costs of these actions, although made up, and not defended at all, would amount to 68,728 pounds--- And, if defended, the aggregate expence to recover 81,791 pounds, must be no less than 285,920 pounds? being considerably more than three times the amount of the debts sued for or defended..--At present the rule is, to allow the same costs for forty shillings as for 10,000 pounds.... Why are these abuses permitted to continue? Is not the case but too clear? In short ; the whole head is sick, and the whole beart
faint: from the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness among us. The B -s play into the bands of the C.---y; the Lo...S into the hands of the A.....S; the P-...-s into the hands of the A. ---, &c. &c. &c. thus the world goes round. There is more truth in Mr. Pope's observation than at first appears; that " an honest man's che noblest work of God." Vide a Treatise on the Police of London.
things, and zealously attempt a reformation in themselves, in the ecclesiastical part of the constitution of the country, and among the great body of the people ? Should they not universally cry aloud and not spare, and sound the trumpet in God's holy mountain ? Should we not all set ourselves in good earnest to stem the torrent of iniquity, which overflows these happy lands, and threatens to involve us in one general calamity ? The time is come. God hath sent forth the sword among the nations, and it is REFORMATION or RUINATION*
* It is not enough that such men as PS, B- -n, W- -n,
-y, Py, and others, should contend in favour of the Gospel of Christ, while they themselves, are, by their conduct, the grand supporters of our ecclesiastical hierarchy, with all its corruptions, If they wish effectually to serve their country, and the cause of humanity, they should apply their rare abilities, to reduce the national religion to the pure standard of the Gospel. But what can we expect, when men's eyes are blinded, and their hearts bribed by worldly honours and preferments ? Abundance of persons in the Church of Rome have seen, and do now see, the abuses and corruptions of that Churchfather Paul, for instance, in the last age, Dr. GEDDES'and Mr. BERRINGTON in the present—but they cannot prevail upon themselves to quit their stations: Rev. xiv. 9---11, should be consulted :---So some persons with us have long seen the abuses and unevangelical traits of our own Church, and yet they make themselves easy, by 'writing in defence of the immortal cause of Chrisa tianity, while the vessel, in which they themselves are embarked, is in danger of being dashed against the rocks. If one man has a right to prevaricate, and subscribe what he does not believe, why has not another? Though of a sentiment in 'religion very different, I must say, that Lindsey, Je BB, HAMMOND, Disney, and others, who have sacrificed their preferment to the perice of their own minds, are honourable men, deserving of all praise. But can we say the same of those Clergymen, who go on subscribing and swearing to various particular propositions, which they well know or believe to be wrong
? There is some reason to suppose Mr. Chillingworth's conduct has had'a considerable effect in reconciling the Clergy to subscribe to doctrines which they avowedly do not believe. For this great man declared, in a letter to Dr. Sheldon, that, “ if he subscribed, he subscribed his own damnation,” and yet, in no long space of time, he actually did subscribe to the Articles of the church again and again!' LORD! what is man?
Vide Biog. Brit. by Kippis, vol. iii. p. 516. The salvo by which he and soine other Clergymen, highly respectable, get over their scruples, is, to subscribe the 39 Articles as articles and erms of peace. This, however, appears to me a shameful evasion, and inconsistent with comnion honesty. At this rate, a man in Italy may sub
Without this it may be declared by the authority of the Word of the Lord, that as soon as ever the predicted 1260
scribe Pope Prus's Creed; in Turkey the Koran of MAHOMET; or in a Jervish government, the Talmud of the Rabbins.
Since the above was written, I have been struck with a similar senti. ment in the first part of Mr. Paine's Age of Renfon; and here at least I have the pleasure of agreeing with that celebrated Deist, though we differ toto cælo upon almost every thing where the Sacred Writings are concerned :-" It is impossible,” says
very justly, to calculate the moral mischief, if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced in society. When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind, as to subscribe his professional belief of things he does not believe, he has prepared himself for the commission of every other' crime. He takes up the trade of a Priest for the sake of gain, and in order to qualify himself for that trade, he begins with a perjury, Can we conceive any thing more destructive to morality than this ?."
This subject is considered in a very serious point of view by Bishop Burner in his Pastoral Care, 3d edit. p. 96---99; only he applies it to our declaring we are moved by the Holy Ghost to preach the Gospel.
A certain respectable Clergyman of our Church, whose writings on some subjects have few equals, hath said " If any one asks, what the “ expressions in Scripture, regenerate-born of the Spirit-new crea“ türes mean?--We answer, that they mean nothing ! nothing to us! "' nothing to be found, or sought for, in the present circumstances of “ Christianity." This gentleman well knows, that these declarations of his are extremely different from the doctrines of the Church of England, and
yet, since he published these sentiments, he has subscribed more than ence, and, as far as appears, would subscribe again and again, if two or three more good preferments should fall in his way.
My indignation compels me to say, that a body of Clérgy of that de. scription--however learned, ingenious, and worthy they may be in other respects---deserve extirpating from the face of the earth; and, if there is a judgement to come, our doom will be uncommonly severe. The Scrip. ture declares, all liars shall have their part in the lake that burnetb with fire and brimstone. And what more solemn lie can there be, than subscribe ing our names, that we believe a number of propositions, which in our consciences we judge to be false? unless it be that other declaration, we " trust we are moved by the Holy Ghost to preach the Gospel," when we do not believe there is any Holy Ghost, but laugh at every pretension of the sort as methodism and enthusiasm ? If the Lord is a God of knowledge by whom actions are weighed, we prevaricating Parsons shall have a sad account to give another day. We may keep up our heads a few years now, while in possession of two or three good livings, and the world smiles upon us, but the day of darkness is at no great distance, when noching but integrity and conscious uprightness will stand us in any stead. If once the Clergy become generally prevaricators with their solemn subscriptions, the fate of the English church is determined.